Mother: Laura (Age 55)
Daughter: Nicole (Age 20)
Las Vegas, NV
When Laura and her husband John were teenagers, they literally ran away and joined the circus. John, a professional clown, was a shining star in his clown troupe and Laura earned a dancing contract in the Ringling Brothers Circus. The traveling circus became their home and the cast and crew became their chosen family. When mom and dad were blessed with a baby girl, Nicole, they made the difficult choice to stay in the circus and raise their daughter on the road and in the show. It was unheard of to raise your child in the circus at that time. There was no nursery, no teachers, no infrastructure that helped to raise a child. But they did just that for nearly two decades; Laura, John, Nicole, and two other sons performed and lived on the road.
Fast forward to today: John and Laura decided that they needed to give their daughter a taste of what they call “townie" life. Nicole has been bitten by the entertainer bug and has no intention of slowing down. With the help of her mom, she is currently performing as a burlesque dancer on Vegas’ infamous Fremont street. Laura is acting as her “mom-ager” and helps her daughter in all aspects of her budding entertainment career. She picks out risqué burlesque outfits, gets her waxed and tanned, takes her to auditions, gives her advice and tips on how to dance sensually, who to wink at, and how to flirt with an audience. Other mothers criticize Laura’s relationship and parenting style saying that she’s setting a bad example, her support is inappropriate, and that she’s exploiting her daughter. Laura, however, feels that entertainment is normal and that she’s going to support her daughter’s dream’s regardless of what it takes.
The transition from the circus world to the real world has been a tough and trying experience for Laura and Nicole. They miss their circus friends and the shared community. They miss being able to put a smile on a child’s face. Now they are made to feel creepy if they approach a stranger in the supermarket. In the circus, a costume was a costume and was never sexualized as it now is in Sin City. Laura and Nicole are trying to transition from the dream-like innocence of the Circus into a more cynical and harsh-reality of the “real-world.” They admit that they didn’t realize that their relationship was so unusually close until they left the circus. They are currently clinging to one another for safety, reassurance and faith that they won’t lost their love and zeal for entertaining, the thing that bonded them together in the beginning. The two have even talked about starting a mother-daughter performing act, something that dad is very much interested in seeing come to life.